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Evaluation and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A retrospective Study Comparing the Treatment Practices of the Physicians of McKenzie-Willamette Hospital Occupational Health Department

1 August 2001


Background: In the industrial setting, injuries to the low back account for a large percentage of Workers' Compensation claims. The physicians of McKenzie-Willamette Occupational Health Department, Paul Panum, :MD, Robert Davis, :MD, and Phillip Dean, MD, each treat patients independently. The purpose of this study was to gather general information on the low back pain patients seen while discovering any significant differences in the treating practices of the physicians. Methods: All medical records for Panum, Davis and Dean patients seen for low back pain between January 1, 2000 and May 1, 2001 were identified and reviewed. Data was collected by one analyst on a flow· sheet and entered into a computer spreadsheet for analysis. Data included patient demographics, prescribing patterns, use of diagnostic studies, frequency of specialist referrals and duration of claim information. ANOVA testing was done for comparison of means. Chi square testing was done to analyze nominal data. Results: Sample sizes were 126, 93 and 36 for Panum, Davis and Dean respectively. Significant results included a difference in mean days from initial evaluation until final evaluation (p


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